Nungar Plains Hut Walk
Schofield Hut to Gavel Hut
I am a reluctant to leave my nice warm bed this morning but as I make my way out of my sleeping bed cocoon and I am well rewarded. There is a definite chill in the air and an incredible vibrantly beautiful brief flash of the sun rising causing the trees behind us to light up in brilliant colour. Another 2 minutes and I would have missed it completely. An ominous saying is recalled – red sky in the morning, a shepherds warning!
We leave the hut donned in our rain gear and head down a foot track towards the creek. As the foot track disappears we seek out a suitable crossing and carve our way through snow grass being careful not to roll an ankle before meeting up with the Gavel Hut Trail. Brumbies again suspiciously watch our progress and soon they are galloping across the plain with the stallion behind egging them on.
Our first sight of the hut is through some lovely coloured gums and I just love it from that moment. A gnarly old snow gum guards the front and compliments the rugged charm of the hut.
Inside there are some drawings on interesting canvases of old wood or tin, an old meat safe and other various bits and pieces are there to inspire us to ponder over times long gone.
As we boil the billy and gather our lunch goodies together the rain comes down, heavy and relentless. Our timing has been perfect.
Gavel Hut has some controversy on who and when it was built so either Dick Schofield and Roy Rawson built it in 1931 or James Gavel in 1922 backed up by Tom Taylor – a possible reason for the hair on the chinny, chin being nailed to the mantel at Schofields Hut.
The rain subsides to a miserable drizzle so we are rugged up once again as we head back to the track. Things do not go quite to plan on our return trip. A track can be clearly seen from across the plain on the far side of the creek so we decide to give it a go and try to find it.
Just like magic, when we get over the other side of the creek, it is gone and we are again traipsing over some tricky terrain. We are also strung out like a bunch of browns cows some on a determined path, others meandering and some falling behind – not a great plan. Thankfully, one way or another we all make it back. And again we just get to the hut, managing to collect water and the rain sets in and it is not joking around this time. There is no break in the clouds and things just get worse with thunder and lightening at times shaking the windows in the hut. The Gang Gangs that were happily squawking in the surrounding trees yesterday are noticeably absent as birds and animals take refuge somewhere in the bush. Hail is thrown forth from the heavens followed by more rain, stronger wind, more hail, more rain. I look out at my tent, which has the dry feel of a plastic garbage bag, and swear if all is dry inside I will write to Big Agnes and share my absolute gratitude in its incredible durability.
We stay up quite late until at last, although it is still raining, the weather abates enough for us to head to bed. Joy of joys my tent and all it contains is completely and wonderfully dry.